#tuesdayuseitinasentence: That tissue paper life

Brightly coloured handbag

Image: Pixabay

Catherine knew she was lucky the day she married David.

True, there had been little passion between them, there time in the bedroom the definition of propriety – lights off, socks on, do your duty and think of England.

But there were other benefits to being Mrs David Campion that added zest. The flat in Kensington for one and the detached house on Sandbanks, within earshot of the surf and its own beach. She’d loved jaunts to the continent in the Aston – oysters and Bollinger and trips to Cannes for the festival.

Now she stood on her Mother’s coconut matting, smelling boiled cabbage and liver, her Gucci luggage and the clothes on her back all that was left of that tissue paper life.

Mum appeared from the front room, arms crossed over her sagging chest. ‘You know what I say, our Cath?’

‘Catherine.’

A steely eye fixed her. ‘Cath. If you’re going to squeeze oranges, you’ve got to expect pips. Kettle’s on.’

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Written in response to My Loving Wife’s #tuesdayuseitinasentence. See the word, use it in a post. Brought to you today by the word ZEST

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Friday Fictioneers: Cyphers missing a key

PHOTO PROMPT © Kent Bonham

PHOTO PROMPT © Kent Bonham

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He told me electricity runs through garden gates and doorways – that was why he stopped at each, hands contorting into intricate loops and angles. Though he wouldn’t say why those shapes, those uncomfortable forms.

Power rippled through the walls of his tiny flat too, humming, buzzing, whistling  – making him batter the plaster with his palms … His head with his fists.

His drawings – black ink scored into white paper – were diagrams, he said: circuit boards, wire maps, technical instruments. Though he wouldn’t tell me what they did.

The drawings survive him now. Cyphers missing a key, they remain locked.

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Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers. See the lovely photo, write 100 words of wonderfulness around it. See full conditions of play here.

Moral Mondays: An ocean wide and dangerous.

Old luggage

Image: Pixabay

 

He travelled in steerage, though his coat was clean, cuffs neatly turned. Amid strings of laundry, the stench of brine and fights over brandy and women, he sat oblivious, reading Byron, Keats, Donne, spectacles perched on the bridge of a nose sharp as a puffin’s beak.

Timidly, he shared an abraded image – a younger man, also neat, also dark, handsomer than my companion. The handsome man had travelled for his fortune but the Klondike had swallowed him, leaving nothing behind but his brother’s memories.

The ocean may be wide and dangerous – but it seems blood is thicker.

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Written in response to Nortina’s Moral Mondays and what a cracker this week! It had me winging my way across the Atlantic to Ellis Island, following a shy man on the quest for a loved one.

To join the fun, be inspired by the week’s moral and write a 100 word story. Full rules here.

 

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Friday Fictioners: Mocking the forgotten dead

Jhardy

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

Shutters make the windows turn a blind eye – always a blind eye. A breeze blows the limbs of skeletal trees, bony twigs ticking a non-rhythm. Gates hold tufted grass and last year’s crisply fallen leaves prisoner.

A Death’s Head moth – woken early by a fragile burst of sun – batters his powdery wings against the bars. Once, twice, he bounces against the metal then away, flitting over the condemned cells, the exercise yard – the long drop – his careless freedom mocking the forgotten dead.

The breeze steals away to brighter places and leaves the building to its past.

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Saw this lovely photo prompt (originally from Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioners) on Ga H Learner’s blog and had to join in. Two pic prompts in one day? What am I like?

See the full rules here.

 

 

 

#tuesdayuseitinasentence: Close your eyes darlin’ boy

Shotgun cartridges

Image: Pixabay

 

A waft of cigarette smoke tells me Dan’s here. He smokes Park Drive – no filters – old man’s fags, though no one would tell him.

‘Where you been?’ asks Pete. He’s been shuffling on the spot for the last half hour, kicking up the dirt where the grass used to grow when people still cared about making this place nice. Years ago.

Dan lights a fresh Park Drive. ‘Mind your own,’ he says, crushing out the old fag with a twist of his boot. ‘Ready for this?’ He looks from Pete to Si to me and we just nod, though I want to be home watching the match with my dad.

We show what we’ve brought – a cricket bat: a length of pipe: a table leg.

Dan smiles, pushing back his coat.

‘Jeez.’

‘Christ.’

‘God, Dan.’

Hidden in the folds of wool are short metal poles attached to a wooden stock. Bile rises, burning my throat. ‘Dan …’ I can’t say any more, and I need to pee so bad it hurts.

‘Let’s go,’ he says.

***

And there’s blood all over me, though I’m not sure whose and it’s sticky and I think of my bed and my mum and she’s laying a cool hand on my head, saying ‘Hush. Close your eyes darlin’ boy’.

And I do and I sleep.

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Written in response to My Loving Wife’s #tuesdayuseitinasentence prompt. Hear the word, use it in a sentence – or many. Today’s word is WAFT. For the rules, go here.

FFftPP:Close the Circle

ocean

https://pixabay.com/en/ocean-sky-sea-horizon-outdoor-316752/

She heard voices beneath the crash of the waves, whispers in the hiss of popping foam and spray. She’d make me listen, hoping to see the spark of recognition in my eyes, and turn away disappointed when they stayed dark.

Nervous of the answer, I’d ask what she heard.

‘Close the circle,’ was all she said, face aglow as if a ball of buttercups were pressed to her chin.

My instinct was to smother her words – hasten the oncoming silence – but my hands were cowards, cradled in the nest of my lap.

When they found her, she was all circles – a halo of bladderwrack wreathed around her throat: full moon eyes fixed on the sky.

Spine curled like an ammonite, she’d returned to the sea.

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Written for Roger Shipp’s FFftPP. See the pic, include or allude to the quote and all in 200 words or less. Good fun – do join in.

TLT: Just as we remember

 

TLT week six - people at Tate Modern

Image: Samuel Zeller, Unsplash

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The screens flickered if you glimpsed one out the corner of your eye, and beneath the hubbub of conversation and the ting of teaspoons stirring over-priced cappuccinos, she’d heard the buzz of resistors, the whirr of cooling fans – though the 3D images were pretty realistic.

‘So, Dad,’ she said, head bent over the dessert menu, ‘is that what London really looked like?’

He stared over the recreated metropolis, at the dove grey dome of St Paul’s and whispered, ‘Just  as I remember.’

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Written in response to Sonya at Only 100 Words’ Three Line Tales prompt. See the photo and join the fun.